Devotional: Surviving the Storms of Life #3

The Storms of Life, continued

©2016 Peggy Clark

Dusting off the dried clumps of sand from her face and hands, she began her trek in the direction of the rooftop when suddenly there was a deep voice from behind her.

Turning she saw a gray-haired man with a fishing pole and a bucket in his hand. “Good morning, Miss. Fine morning isn’t it? And where did you come from?”

“Are you all right?” he said as she suddenly fell backward. “You must be hurt. Here, let me help you.”

She had not previously noticed the dried blood that covered her right arm and leg. Nor could she have seen the bruising on her face and other parts of her ravaged body.

As if shaken out of a daze, she began to weep uncontrollably. Memory now came to remind her of things she could not now bear to remember.

“Here, here, let me help you! You mustn’t cry. I won’t harm you. Stay still now while I look at your arms and legs.”

She nodded affirmation although the tears just would not stop.

The gray-haired man patiently checked for cuts and broken bones.

“Well, my lady. You’ve got some nasty cuts and bruises. Hopefully, you have no broken bones, but I don’t want to run the risk of injuring you any further. Will you trust me to run to the house yonder and bring round a truck? I won’t be any longer than I have to, I promise.”

She lay back and rested. Finally, help had come. Maybe Providence was on her side.

“In my distress, I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.”  2 Samuel 22:7


We may ask why the journey of life had to take us down a particular path, why we were left alone to struggle through the waves of trials and temptations that sought to overcome us, and why it took us so long to get to a place of safety and respite.

Unwelcome Disturbances

Storms come as unwelcome disturbances in our lives.

Those disturbances present themselves in a variety of ways. They may consist of a ripple, a splash, a flood tide, or even a tidal wave.

When our vessels filled with the lower pressures of mediocrity, complacency, and sinful desires meet with the higher pressures of holiness, compassion, truth, and situations not of our choosing, struggles develop.

Uncertain Responses

Our response to God’s trimming makes the difference as to whether our sails are filled with the wind and prosper spiritually or are ripped from their spars and toppled in defeat.

Sometimes our response of grasping on to whatever lies before us drowns those who are trying to liberate us from our muddy waters.

We resist the command of submission to someone else’s control and find ourselves drowning in despair.

It is when we look upward instead of downward that we catch a breath from God and see His hand reaching out in deliverance.

Special Blessings

No matter how surprised we may be at the onslaught of the storm, we find that each disturbance does come with its own special blessing. Those individual blessings may be hidden at the moment, but they are there just the same.

We are strengthened as we struggle through the swelling waters and find that God is on the tip of every resounding wave, inviting us to come and walk with Him on the water.

We discover that His is the only Voice that has the power to calm the storm in our souls.

“[B]e not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:10).

After the storm we wake to find that the rubble in our lives has been loosed and carried far out to sea. If remnants remain, they are only there to remind us of our deliverance from that which sought to destroy us.

Our outlook is freshened and intensely set on things that are of greater importance than the mediocrity of the past.

Our vessels become known as seaworthy, able to withstand the storms of life, and able to lead others through troubled waters.

Special Truth

Why does it take us so long to get to a place of safety and respite?

It takes as long as it takes for us to realize that God is our Life Preserver, the Tugboat who draws us into His safe harbor and can give us calm waters in the midst of any storm.

It takes just as long as it takes for us to accept this truth.

And accepting Truth is how we survive the storms of life.

© 2016 Peggy Clark

Peggy Clark is also the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. 
Ask for it at your local Christian retailer or order online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers.

Devotional: Surviving the Storms of Life #2

The Storms of Life, Continued
©2016 Peggy Clark

Suddenly she was awakened by the earth eroding underneath her. A loud roar sounded in her ears. Warmth surrounded and tugged at her body, slowly pulling her back into the sea from whence she had come.

She must resist its deadly grasp. Now awakened, she slowly began to pull herself forward once again. This time she was able to make progress although every movement caused her body to wreak with pain.

Finally, turning over on her backside, she let the sun shine fully on her face. The aching inside told her she must have help and soon.

“Help, I must have help,” she repeated to herself but her body gave way to fatigue before she could muster enough energy to cry out.

Once again the forces of nature or some power from above cried out to her. Seagulls screamed in increasing volume desiring some morsel of food as if to say, “Get up and give us,” but she had nothing left to give.

Startled, she was awakened to a new day. A new day in all its splendor. She embraced its warmth and drunk in its laughter. Birds sang cheerily and a butterfly fluttered about her head.

She reached out and touched one of its wings. It danced away toward the morning rays of sunshine and out of her sight.

What was that in the distance? Peeking out above the trees that lined the shore was a gray rooftop. She listened intently for sounds of life and heard dogs barking in the clearing just ahead.

Hope sprang up in her bosom even though she found herself struggling to get up from the ground.


Why does our journey of life take us down a particular path?

Why are we left alone to struggle through the dark waters of turbulent forces as they try to overcome us?

Overwhelmed by successive waves of circumstances beyond our control, our inclination is to grasp hold of whatever lies before us.

Human nature digs our fingers in deep and splits our fingernails in anxiety. We exert all our energies in resisting the forces of change.

Our first reaction is to turn back to the past, to that which we are familiar, until we are entrapped in its undercurrents. The old man gently tugs and teases, whispering in our ears his deceptive voice. He wishes to erode our faith. Our foundation of sand quickly vanishes away.

Panic sets in as we realize we cannot stand against these forces alone. The intensity of the storm obliterates our view. Blinded, we cannot see the shoreline just ahead. Moment by moment our strength weakens as the undertow pulls at us.

Crying out for deliverance, we strain to hear an answer. None is heard except that of the vultures as they rob us of that which we hold to be of value.

Yet, the voice of resistance is heard from somewhere deep inside reminding us that we must resist the temptation of giving in to that which wishes to destroy us.

Rays of hope peek through the dark clouds allowing faith to swell up in our hearts.

Hope then gives faith the surge that is needed to overcome the depths of our trials and preserve us from drowning in despair.

Hope befriends faith and says, “Believe. There is a tomorrow.”


He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;

He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.

They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

2 Samuel 22:17-19

To be continued.

©2016 Peggy Clark

Peggy Clark is author of the Bible study, So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. Ask for it at your local Christian retailer or purchase online.

Devotional: Surviving the Storms of Life #1

The Storms of Life

©2016 Peggy Clark

 With each grasp her fingers slid downward, backward, away from her goal. Every part of her body ached, resisting the desire inside her to continue forward. Gasping for her next breath, her body heaved with every ounce of strength she had left.

Warmth spread over her body, teasing her to give way to its unceasing pull. Again and again its tongue surrounded her, tugged at her, wooed her back into its grasp.

It did not want to let go.

Suddenly, with strength from some source beyond her own, she reached forward one last time before collapsing on the shore.

Foamy water continued to nudge her body, gently lifting and then leaving her behind as it gathered itself once again to make its attempts at retrieving her.

She was alone on the deserted shore. She and this substance that had carried her for days and now refused to let her go.

Morning came. Sunlight shone down on her sand crusted body, warming her with its intensity as if to say, “Arise my child! Arise!”

But her body did not want to arise. Every bone cried out to be left alone. She could hear the sound of the waves crashing behind her, roaring out their call for her return.

She had made it! She was alive! She had found somewhere, but where was she? At this point, she didn’t care. All she knew was that she was alive and that her body was lying on solid ground. Relieved, she closed her eyes, exhausted.


Many of us have experienced the joys of walking on the earth, alive and well, when suddenly a storm blew into our lives.

That storm, with all its intensity, found us struggling to catch our breath. It may have been the death of a spouse or the departure of a loved one or a turn of events at our workplace.

Whatever the cause of the storm, we were left paralyzed with fear and anxiety about what the future held for us.

Overwhelmed by the turbulent forces of our situation, we felt pounded by the everyday events that were well beyond our control. The reservoir of our faith soon ran thin. We quickly depleted all the strength of our own resources.

We felt alone on a deserted shore.

Somehow we made it through, though exhausted. That’s when we felt the earth beneath us again.


Looking back at the onslaught we encountered, we are left wondering how we ever made it through alive.

We may ask why the journey of life had to take us down this particular path, why we were left alone to struggle through the deep waters of each wave as it overcame us, and why it took us so long to get to a place of safety and respite.

However, at the end of the storm, we knew we were still alive. And at that single moment, that was all that mattered.

When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God.  2 Samuel 22:5-7a

To be continued.

©2016 Peggy Clark